Former Newcastle United star Jonas Gutierrez wins cancer discrimination claim

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Former Newcastle United star Jonas Gutierrez has won his disability discrimination claim against his old club.

Gutierrez alleged he was frozen out of the first team because of his diagnosis with testicular cancer in 2013.

Newcastle rejected the claim, saying the midfielder simply did not feature in successive managers' plans for the squad.

The 32-year-old brought employment tribunal claim against his former club for disability discrimination after accusing management of ensuring he failed to make enough appearances on the pitch to trigger a lucrative one-year contract extension worth up to £2 million.

On Thursday the tribunal panel, delivering its findings in a 64-page document, said: "We concluded that the reason why the respondent managed the claimant's selection was because they no longer wanted him at the club because of his cancer."

They added that the club "made a very rapid decision" after Gutierrez's return following treatment at the end of 2013, "that they no longer wanted him, because of his cancer".

The panel also found there was then "a continuing course of conduct" by Newcastle to "remove" the midfielder from the club.

Gutierrez, currently playing for Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, spent seven seasons with Newcastle after joining the club in 2008, and underwent an operation to remove a tumour in his left testicle in October 2013.

In his statement to the tribunal hearing last month in Birmingham, the midfielder said he was called into then manager Alan Pardew's office in early December 2013 - when he felt he was returning to full fitness - to be told that he did not feature in Newcastle's future plans and was free to agree terms with another club.

A further claim that the club failed to make reasonable adjustments for Gutierrez succeeded.

Two other claims of unfavourable treatment and harassment brought by the player failed.

A remedy hearing is now due to be scheduled to determine Gutierrez's compensation.

During hearings held in Birmingham in March, the player, his agent and his mother - also his manager - gave evidence.

The club's former managers Mr Pardew, John Carver and club chief executive Lee Charnley also gave their accounts of what had happened.

The tribunal's three-member panel said the three men's evidence had been "consistent" with one exception, regarding a conversation Mr Pardew alleged had happened in the 2013 pre-season before Gutierrez's diagnosis.

Mr Pardew claimed that he had told the player that Gutierrez's time at the club was ending and in evidence to the panel said he "didn't really fit into the mould I wanted to make".

The midfielder said that discussion never took place, and in its findings of fact the panel agreed with Gutierrez, calling Mr Pardew's account of the alleged conversation "inconsistent".

The panel said: "This inconsistency to an extent undermined his (Mr Pardew's) credibility. The claimant we found to be credible.

"Ultimately, on the balance of probabilities and taking into account our assessment of the respective credibility of the claimant and Mr Pardew, we preferred the evidence of the claimant."